“Tell me what color my eyes are.”
This simple and poignant line in Gina Lione-Napoli’s poem, “Hazel,” tells the powerful story of a resilient girl who is abandoned by her father. Throughout this poem, the speaker says how her father was never there for her and that she doesn’t want him in her life (“You weren’t her first words! You won’t be her last”).
Every word tugs at your heart and floods your veins with a multitude of feelings: pain, sympathy, shame, anger, and surprisingly, self-empowerment. This poem teaches the reader never to let anyone drag you down and to use every blow you’ve endured to become a stronger, more courageous person.
Without a doubt, “Hazel” is one of the best pieces I’ve read in Teen Ink, and it’s certainly a poem everyone needs to read.
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